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Upsurge in piracy roils Southeast Asian waters

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U.S. Navy personnel and a Philippine sailor practice how to arrest and search a suspected pirate during a joint training drill aboard the USS Fort Worth off the Philippine city of Puerto Princesa on June 22.    © Reuters

JAKARTA -- These days, the word "piracy" usually brings to mind illegally copying music, movies or software. But in the waters of Southeast Asia, mainly off Indonesia and Malaysia, the traditional meaning prevails, with boatloads of armed men storming cargo vessels in the hunt for bounty.

     Describing eight pirates who in mid-June boarded the Orkim Harmony, a Malaysia-registered tanker, Adm. Abdul Aziz Jaafar, Malaysia's navy chief, tweeted that the men were "armed with pistols and parang (a type of machete). They speak with Indonesian accents."

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